Back in 2013 the Dunbar author and publisher Hannah Lavery put on a small literary festival in Dunbar. In 2014 it grew considerably, and was given the name CoastWord. This year our third Festival took place from the 22nd to the 24th of May. With funding from Creative Scotland and the support of Live Literature Scotland, we were able to bring writers and performers to Dunbar, joining with local talent to stage an extremely varied programme, a celebration of words in all the ways they are used.
It isn’t the traditional book festival format, although we did have some specific author events. We had workshops on poetry and fiction writing, we had childrens’ events, we had evening entertainments featuring poetry, storytelling, singer-songwriters and the local community choir, and we had a theatrical evening with a Leith-based group performing six short plays.
We used the local community centre, the library, and a Dunbar hotel, providing good community-based facilities.
It was exhilarating and inspiring, and the audiences loved it. So did I. What were my highlights? Too many to list, and if you weren’t there they wouldn’t mean much, but the happy and friendly atmosphere was wonderful throughout the weekend.
We’re meeting soon to discuss 2016. This was a success we can build on.